Rachel Rowlands
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Rachel's yoghurt firm founder on heart gene defect

The woman who founded the Rachel's organic yoghurt company has spoken of how she discovered she had a heart gene defect which she had passed on to some of her children.

The British Heart Foundation has said around 28,000 people in Wales could be living with faulty heart genes, leaving them at risk of early death.

Around 30 people under 35 years of age die unexpectedly of cardiac problems each year.

Rachel Rowlands's father died of a heart attack at 48 and her sister suffered one at the same age, but survived.

When her otherwise fit son John also developed heart problems, she asked for genetic testing to see if she could have inherited a gene which she had passed on to her son.

Mrs Roberts, who set up the company in Aberystwyth in the 1980s, was diagnosed with familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) and had coronary bypass surgery. As a result, John had ultrasound tests and later the same surgery as his mother.

She believes the discovery of FH probably saved his life. Another son also has the condition.

  • 12 May 2014
  • From the section Wales
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